El Faro English
A number of civil liberties will be suspended for 30 days in El Salvador as a government response to the alarming spike in gang-attributed homicides. The violence casts further doubt on the efficiency of President Bukele’s security policy, already under scrutiny because of revelations of secret gang negotiations.
Nicaraguan Ambassador Arturo McFields denounced the Ortega-Murillo government as a “dictatorship” in an unexpected statement to the Organization of American States on Wednesday, announcing his departure from the administration. McFields urged other public servants to overcome their fear and do the same.
The judge in possession of incendiary testimony accusing President Alejandro Giammattei of illicit campaign finance announced she has left the country for exile in the United States, saying she feared an assassination attempt from the Guatemalan government.
The U.S. suspects that a top MS-13 leader known as “Crook” was freed from prison despite an extradition request on transnational narco-terrorism charges. Salvadoran courts have for months refused to extradite senior MS-13 leaders to the U.S.
Guatemala marked International Women’s Day by voting to increase sentences for abortion and outlaw sex ed. El Salvador announced plans to repeal the violence against women law. There was no 8M march in Nicaragua and key feminist leaders remain in prison. Only Honduras’ first female president stepped up this week by proposing a law against gender violence and weighing lifting a ban on emergency contraception.
A leak of more than eight million company documents revealed how a mining company operating illegally in a Maya Q’eqchi’ town near the Caribbean coastline bought local police and Indigenous leaders, spied on journalists, classified residents as allies or enemies, and sought to expel communities from ancestral land.
El Salvador joined Nicaragua in abstaining from the U.N. General Assembly’s condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine. As El Salvador prepares to issue a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin Bonds, Bukele implies the Russia clampdown underscores a key use-case for the cryptocurrency: sanctions evasion.
As Russia invades Ukraine, Ortega is closing arms deals with Putin. Maybe that explains why he is the only Central American leader vocally supporting the Kremlin’s offensive.
An El Faro investigation revealed that a former confidant of President Alejandro Giammattei testified under oath that the Guatemalan leader negotiated a bribe of $2.6 million USD from construction firms to fund his 2019 campaign.
Rank-and-file legislators of President Nayib Bukele’s party, Nuevas Ideas, are showing the first signs of dissent for fear of U.S. sanctions and lack of budget, camera time, and access to decision-making. Some of them did not appear for key votes in recent weeks.
As of Monday afternoon, Honduras still had two parallel Congressional leaderships, both under suspicion of illegality, a sign that does not bode well for the stability for the first days of Castro’s presidency.
On January 10, El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office raided the offices of the anti-corruption task forces that throughout 2020 and early 2021 investigated secret government negotiations with gangs and corruption in the current administration, increasing the perception that those who dare challenge the Bukele administration could face steep repercussions.
El Salvador and Guatemala just eclipsed 30 and 25 years, respectively, since the accords that ended their armed conflicts. Despite recent attacks on judicial independence in both countries and intense polarization surrounding the landmark agreements, the courts granted new openings for two watershed civil war-era cases.
An external analysis confirmed that at least 22 staff members at El Faro were hacked during the past two years using the Israeli spyware Pegasus, which is allegedly only sold to governments. The hacks, totaling 226 intrusions, matched the timeline of key El Faro investigations into corruption in the Bukele administration.
From EL FARO ENGLISH: Nicaragua’s Ortega Calls for ‘Clean Slate’ Despite Dozens of Political Prisoners
As Daniel Ortega assumed his fourth consecutive presidential term on January 10, dozens of political prisoners remain behind bars, and those who visited them reported torturous conditions. The Nicaraguan leader still resists international pressure despite increasing isolation
In a fractured civil society, Indigenous authorities have become increasingly influential in the construction of broad-based political movements connecting Indigenous communities and campesino cooperatives with urban middle-class progressives. One such leader, Martín Toc, believes he can someday be president of Guatemala.
A decade ago, the controversial WikiLeaks offered an unprecedented window into the workings of the U.S. government in Central America. Now the possible extradition and trial of founder Julian Assange may set a dangerous precedent for the criminalization of commonplace news-gathering activities, press advocates say, and contradict moves by Biden to punish those seeking to harm journalists around the world.
The defeat of the National Party at the ballot box on November 28 set off a political earthquake—not only in the Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa, but also in the far-flung provinces where drug traffickers reign.
As world leaders met for Biden’s Democracy Summit, the U.S. delivered a major blow to the Bukele administration by sanctioning senior officials for leading covert gang negotiations and accusing his chief of cabinet of spearheading a “multiple-ministry, multi-million dollar corruption scheme.”
‘The Facility’ documents through video-conference recordings of the testimony of two immigrants, interned at Irwin for months at the start of the pandemic, how immigrant detention centers were grossly ill-prepared to handle the spread of COVID-19.
Record participation and a 20-point lead for Xiomara Castro defeated fears of a stolen election based on violence during the campaign and past fraud. If confirmed, the results will swing Honduras to the left after 12 years of National Party rule marred by narco-politics and intersecting humanitarian and economic crises.